Freedom Fighters: C.E. Jones - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Freedom Fighters: C.E. Jones

MOUNT VERNON, TX (KLTV) -

During his time in the Army Air Corps, later renamed Air Force, C.E. Jones flew just about every plane developed at the time as an 18-year-old in 1940. 

He says he had no inkling that war was coming.

"Didn't know where Pearl Harbor was either," said Jones.

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, Jones was stationed in Puerto Rico.

"They gave me a gun and three rounds of ammunition and I started walking past that," said Jones.

But Jones wouldn't be guarding the post in Puerto Rico for long. As a trained pilot, he was needed to 'fly the hump' as they called it, taking critical fuel supplies over the Himalayas, from India to China, over Japanese-held territories.

"We flew from 23 to 25,000 feet," recalled Jones.

After 'the hump,' Jones was sent back to the states to be trained in single engine planes. That skill would be put to the test during two more wars.

Although Jones had left the military when World War II was over, he rejoined two and a half years later, just in time for the Cold War and Korea.

"We were flying directing artillery and airstrikes between the friendly line and the enemy line," said Jones.

In Korea, Jones smaller plane was able to fly in areas that the bigger planes couldn't get to. Although, that meant flying as low as 100 feet above the ground while being shot at.

"Everybody got 30 calibers through the fuselage somewhere," said Jones.

Jones served 23 years in the United States Air Force, retiring as a major in 1963. Now, at the age of 93, C.E. Jones knows just how lucky he was to survive three wars serving his country.

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